8 Jul 2012
The perfect read for the beach/city/jungle
When I’m travelling, I love being able to read a book set in my destination – fiction for preference, rather than a weighty history, but something which gives me an extra insight to the place I’m visiting.
I once toted Shogun around Japan (in my pre-Kindle days), and despite having read and re-read it repeatedly, seeing some of the settings for the story added an extra layer. If and when I finally manage to get to India, I suspect another epic favourite, A Suitable Boy, will come with me.
But it’s not always easy to track down the perfect book that manages to be entertaining, educational and coincidentally all about the country I’m in. So I’m intrigued by website TripFiction, which is doing its best to help solve the problem, with recommended reading for a variety of destinations.
As the site says, ‘Books are evocative of places. They remind us of trips we have made. They prepare us for trips we are about to undertake. They can help the armchair traveller absorb the atmosphere of a faraway land.’
And you can search by location, author and genre, as well as cross-referencing, while there’s also reviews on both the book itself and how well it captures the destination.
Not everywhere is covered, naturally, and some destinations boast more suggestions than others – Spain has dozens of options, broken down further by area, while Peru has three, Siberia two and Borneo just one (though I’m impressed there’s any for Borneo at all).
At least if I’m confined to the UK for a bit longer and want to lose myself in another exotic location, I’ve got a library full of suggestions…
Image: Emily Carlin/Flickr